Privatisation process of Penang Port questioned

Kuala Lumpur: Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng has called for the Transport Ministry to explain to the public the privatisation of Penang Port under a restricted tender.

He said in a press statement that the privatisation was shrouded in mystery and raised “serious questions of public interest, accountability and transparency”.

Lim was following up on a written reply to his parliamentary question by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Abdul Wahid Omar that the agreement between the Transport Ministry, the Penang Port Commission and Seaport Terminal was finalised in a supplemental agreement signed last November.

“Unless a full public announcement is made by the Transport Ministry, this privatisation will be seen as just another piratisation exercise similar to the (agreements with) highway toll concessionaires,” he said.

“The refusal of the ministry so far to make any public clarification of how this privatisation exercise benefits public interest smacks of arrogance, secretiveness and mismanagement, which is steeped in the Barisan Nasional ethos of reciprocal favours, patronage and conspiracy.”  [28/03/14]

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